After I wrote about the things that make me feel like a good mom, I asked my husband over dinner what made HIM feel like a good parent.
Here were the ten things that topped his list:
- Showing her neat or useful tricks, like walking backwards and how to count with her fingers.
- Making up endless stories for her entertainment. Such as the most recent one about two hippos, one of whom was actually a flamingo that thought he was a hippo, and their adventure being chased by a dog who just wanted to be friends.
- Sticking to the rules once they have been set (and setting reasonable rules with a purpose). The whining is not hard for me to stay firm on. It’s the very smiley, pleasant “please”s that make providing stability like this sometimes difficult.
- Sharing my food – even desserts – liberally with her. I love food, but somehow I love this little girl more. Who’d have guessed?
- Playing games like Bingo and Memory 100,000 times early in the morning. And throughout the day.
- Teaching her all of the songs my mom taught me.
- Daddy daughter dates on most Saturday mornings. I sometimes wonder if she’ll have fun and whether the time will drag, but we always end up having a great time and staying out longer than I expect.
- Tickling her just enough to make her happy and giggly and stopping before she gets out of breath or upset.
- Encouraging her to take on new challenges and “do hard things.” It’s truly gratifying when she repeats the phrase her mommy taught her, “I can do hard things,” upon completion of a challenging task.
- Showing undying interest and love for her regardless of the situation. Whether she is being a sweet little angel or is misbehaving, I want her to always be able to see that I am completely devoted to her and her happiness. When I think there is a perceived disconnect, such as when I stick to rules whose value she may not understand, I try to explain myself clearly so she can understand the underlying reasons.